I’m sure that we’re all aware by now that plastic is bad news for our environment. After watching various documentaries and reading reports on just how much our human habits are rapidly fucking up the planet in a big way, I knew I had to do something – I just wasn’t entirely sure what.
You see, I’ve always found advice on ‘going green’ to be somewhat overwhelming and occasionally, patronising and preachy. I assumed that making the leap to eco-friendly living would be expensive and time-consuming; I also didn’t want to feel guilty every time I put my washing machine on.
So I decided to start small. I swapped my beloved Zoflora for alternative cleaning products made from biodegradable ingredients. I made an effort to take my reusable shopping bags to the supermarket instead of buying plastic carrier bags and began to research natural hygiene products.
I came across Friendly Soap through a work thing so decided to take a closer look. After reading about what they do, I placed an order for:
The whole order, including VAT and delivery, came to £15.28. With a popular high street retailer selling a 55g shampoo bar for £7.50, paying just short of £3 for the 95g Friendly Soap Shampoo Bar was a bit of a bargain in comparison.
I was going to review each item individually but the shampoo bar impressed me more than I expected so I wanted to highlight this product, in particular, today (the body and face soaps that I’ve opened so far are also great BTW; there’s just not much to say about them that warrants a dedicated post).
So, the shampoo bar. I found the concept of using a bar of soap to wash my hair a little odd and to be completely honest, didn’t have high expectations. The bar contains just five ingredients – castor oil, olive oil, coconut oil, essential oil and water.
Having dry, damaged hair from years of bleaching and using heated appliances meant that I’d become heavily reliant on conditioner (without it, my hair becomes a knotty mess) and was sceptical that such a simple product could do the same job.
Once in the shower, I ensured that my hair was suitably wet through then applied the shampoo bar directly. A little went a long way and after about four strokes, the shampoo bar had lathered up surprisingly well. There was a little residue left over once I rinsed it out so stayed under the shower for a few more minutes – my hands also felt ‘waxy’ but this soon cleared up.
The Friendly Soap website does mention that, when switching from ‘traditional’ shampoos to shampoo bars, you may find that your hair goes through a ‘purge period’ as it adjusts. My hair is naturally thin and I tend to wash it every other day so was fully expecting to have to endure a greasy spell but I’ve been very lucky and I haven’t experienced this much.
I did decide to use a cider vinegar rinse once a week as recommended when using shampoo bars. The smell was unpleasant but thankfully it does go away once your hair dries (thank goodness as, at first, I smelt like I’d bathed in a chippy).
I’ve been using the shampoo bar for about a month now and it’s barely reduced in size. I’d have used at least one bottle of shampoo by now so it’s more than earnt its place in the soap dish. In fact, on a literal level, it did sit nicely in the soap dish without drying out or sticking to the sides.
When I looked at all the bottles of shampoo, conditioner, shower gel and other chemical-laden potions lining the bath, it was even more of an incentive to make the switch to bars and I can honestly say that I’m now a convert.
I also adore the Friendly Soap ethos. They’re registered with The Vegan Society, Cruelty-Free International, and have a Best rating with Ethical Consumer. They also have a ‘zero-waste policy’, donating soap offcuts to local homeless shelters and refuges to make sure that every single by-product goes to good use.
All their soaps are free from Palm Oil, Parabens, Sulphates, Triclosan, Phthalates and Cruelty, as well as being boxed in plastic-free recycled (and recyclable) packaging. What’s not to love?